Wednesday, November 16, 2016

ESCRIBALGO - WRITE SOMETHING -- An Idea Platform

Please check out my new online writing project, ESCRIBALGO or write something in Spanish. I hope that it can be a community space where people will share their words, photos, and videos to show where they're at and how they're doing. The 'idea platform', as I've come to call it, is open to anyone and so I hope that you'll check out the site and share something.

I plan on writing, from now on, between both sites, so check out the BLOG section under the CURATOR tab to read my first entry on this new platform.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Night That Will Live in Infamy - The First Domino

The following entry was written beginning at 1:12AM on the 9th of November, 2016 and is a stream of consciousness reflecting my current mood. 

DJT is now electoral college points away from being named POTUS. This election result will go down as one, if not, the biggest political upset in modern world history. It also begins what many believe to be the beginning of the end. Now, I don't think that he'll push a button and start a war with North Korea as soon as he gets sworn in but then again I didn't think we'd be here. So, I guess only time will tell. What I refer to, when I say that this is just the first of many dominoes to fall, is that this country, a country that adopted me and inculcated me into the 'American dream', may never bounce back from the repercussions of tonight's decision within my lifetime. DJT will enter office, most likely, with a Republican House, Senate, and the ability to chose the next Supreme Court Justice, which would give him and his party, in theory, the ability to set the clock back on our country's social, economic, and international relations development. 

This result has left me in complete shock. I don't really know how to process what this will mean. Brexit was bad, Colombia not electing peace was worse but this is just on another level. I do know, however, that this country will endure, even if it takes us decades to recover from what will undoubtedly be a long 4, possibly 8 years.

Since being named the Republican candidate, I've been trying to wrap my mind around how DJT will accomplish even the most basic duties as POTUS. Will he be able to visit a future mass shooting site and provide thoughtful, empathetic, and generally wound-healing words for a grieving community? Or will he simply push divisive rhetoric about how more guns will stop gun violence? 

Aside from my lack of belief in his overall temperament, judgement, and ability to listen, I wonder if what he's said on his campaign trail will actually come to pass? I wonder what will be the short and long term impacts of this election? Will he completely wipe away Obama Care? Will he make abortion illegal on a national level? Will he undo national gay marriage rights? Will he give it his best effort to lock up Hillary? Will he ban Muslims? Will we leave NATO? Will he build a wall? Will he create a deportation squad? Who will be in his cabinet? What will happen with his mega-Trump empire? Will more allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and or assault be brought against him? What will his taxes reveal? Does he have business related conflicts of interests in Russia? Does he make as much as he says he makes? Did he pay taxes this last year? How will foreign nations receive this news? Will the stock market be impacted? Is this the beginning of a real police state? 

There's a real part of me that believes his presidency will be a mixture of V for Vendetta without V and The Hunger Games. And tonight, the commentary on DJT's appointment as POTUS that I think most eloquently outlined the real fears that many Americans have came from Van Jones, a political commentator and activist. His words hit the nail right on the head. The problem with a Trump election is that many Americans are 'afraid of breakfast' Van Jones says, 

"There's another side to this. People have talked about a miracle . . . I'm hearing about a nightmare. It's hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us. You tell your kids, don't be a bully. You tell your kids, don't be a bigot. You tell your kids, do your homework and be prepared. And then you have this outcome and you have people putting children to bed tonight and they're afraid of breakfast. They're afraid of the 'how do I explain this to my children?'. I have muslim friends who are texting me tonight, saying 'should I leave the country?'. I have families of immigrants that are terrified tonight. This was many things . . . This was a rebellion against the elites. True. It was a complete reinvention of politics and polls, it's true. But, it was also something else. We've talked about race . . I mean, we've talked about everything but race tonight. We've talked about income, class, region . . we haven't talked about race. This was a white lash. This was a white lash against a changing country. It was a white lash against a black President, in part. And that's the part where the pain comes from. And Donald Trump has a responsibility tonight to come out and reassure people that he is going to be the President of all the people who he insulted and offended and and and brushed aside. Yeah, when you say you want to take your country back. You got a lot of people who feel that we aren't represented well either. But we don't want to feel that someone has been elected by throwing away some of us to appeal more deeply to others. This is a deeply painful moment tonight and I know it's just about race but race is here too and we got to talk about that".

I don't know if I can say it better than Van but I do feel that the new President Elect is not a guy who's going to look out for the well being of all the US' citizens. During his campaign, he used such inflammatory rhetoric when talking about such a variety of subjects and people that he's single handedly changing, or has changed, the way in which politicians will speak and act. By voting him into the White House, this country has taken a step in a direction that I believe will have catastrophic consequences. By voting him into the Oval office, we've cosigned all of his words. We've okay'ed rhetoric that we wouldn't allow our mail man, kid's soccer coach, or even potential son-in-law to ever speak. So, why is it that we're okay with having a President who mocks handicap people, admits to sexual assault, makes racists and xenophobic remarks? I truly don't have an answer. 

I'm also wondering how the US will move forward in creating or destroying relationships with other nations. Now, I'm sure some of you reading this may think that I'm overreacting but the reality is that the world is a complex place and we, the United States, are just a piece to the puzzle. We need a leader who understands this ever-changing global dynamic and will work to create bridges and not walls. It's a world where, in order to become better, we'll need the collaboration and support of others.  I wonder if DJT is that leader? My instinct tells me he's not but I hope, for the nation and world's sake, that he is. 

Only time will tell what this new administration will bring. I fear, however, that it will bring change. Negative change. I fear that it will marginalize those already on the edges and create even deeper divisions among races, classes, etc. I know that this blog hasn't been succinct or coherent but I felt that I not only needed to let out some of my current frustrations and feelings but that it's important that we remember how we felt tonight. A night that the world history books will most likely look upon as the beginning of the end of the 'US empire'. Just like I remember where I was on 9/11, I'll never forget where I was and how I felt when the US voted in DJT. 

In the words of philosopher Will Durant, 'A great civilization is not conquered from without, until it has destroyed itself from within'. 


Very few conquerors know how to rule . . .


J







Sunday, December 27, 2015

I am - Words on Words on Words

Son Brother Friend Calm Opportunistic Master Forgetful Coach Student Meticulous Player Fanatic Athlete South American Weird Latino Hispanic Brave North American Northerner ‘Yankee’ Hardworking Male Loud Quiet Curious Wrong Intelligent Foolish Traveler Complainer Optimistic Realistic Funny Satirical Reader Writer Thinker Tinkerer Fast Quick Strong Weak Bilingual  Sociable Racially-Ambiguous Righty Backpacker Nomadic Transient Lost Searcher Competitive Logical Sleepy Unsatisfied Happy Academic Inventor Content Jarrett Colombian Javi Dancer J Lover Jay Cachaco Fighter American Naive Energetic Demanding Silly Gringo Accepting Rolo Drinker Sober Worldly Vegetarian Vegan Carnivore Omnivore Mammal Peaceful Lynx Eagle Narwhal Peaceful Playmaker Analyst Patient Restless Wired Not Caffeinated Inspired Designer Creator Musician Rhythmic Poetic Blogger Runner Lifter Fit Volunteer Assertive Genuine Kind Director Teammate Measured Calculated Unpredictable Responsible Trustworthy Respectable Reliable Confident Young Old Tolerant Lazy Resilient Scholar Teacher On-Time Adopted Late New Englander Hungry Beach-Bum Sharp Unrefined Talker Listener Sleeper Sprinter Visionary Photographer Creator Producer Southerner Jumper Wrestler Painter Carpenter Builder Inquisitive Leader Non-Smoker Independent Sweaty Concerned Applied Experienced Alternative Man Human Flyer Sporty Smart Neat Brown Critic Cynic Fragile Ignorant Tough Convinced Controlled Clean Psoriatic Determined Driven Ambitious Excessive Positive Opinionated Unforgiving Honest Sincere Alive and Here.